Before I had children I must admit I had NO clue how much parenting changes your entire life. Nothing is the same. Gone are the days of leaving the house in a flash, it takes us a good 10 minutes to get everyone and everything ready. Shoes, socks, arguments about socks, books, crayons, legos, diapers, wipes, water bottles, and on and on. You get me. I do remember I used to just grab my purse, maybe some cash in my back pocket, and head out. I would be in the car and out of the driveway in under a minute.
One thing I have had to learn now that we have 3 boys running around is efficiency. We all need more time, and when we get it, we need more. I am always reading books on organization and efficiency. It hasn’t happened over night but gradually we are getting more and more efficient as a family.
Some tips I have come up with to help you save time and sanity!
1. Always, always, prepare clothes (even socks and shoes) the night before. Lay them out, in the morning send each child to their outfit and have them dress themselves. Check on them after a few mintues to see if any of them need help. I used to pick the clothes out and dress the kids, now I can get myself ready and pack a bag while they get dressed.
2. Teach your children to rinse their dishes and put them in dishwasher. This was a challenge for me because I have a particular way of loading the dishwasher. However, now I have the kids rinse and put their dish in, I rearrange and run. It literally takes 45 seconds to rearrange them and my kids are taking ownership – no dishes sitting around, piling up.
3. Use a timer – You would not believe how much you can get done in little time. Waiting for water to boil? Sweep the floor, empty the dishwasher, go through your Junk drawer. You can squeeze a lot of tidy-ing up in little time. Set a timer for 15 minutes and start in one area that needs attention.
4. Having kids means having errands to run, almost always. Plan your trips. Plan to take care of many items on your list not just one. You will save time and gas.
5. Packing for an outing or a trip? Put a laundry basket out and start putting items you know you will need in it. As you come across another item, throw it in. This way you will fill it as you are working on other things and you will not forget anything.
6. LISTS – I can’t say it enough, lists are huge. They keep you on track. Lists are good for errands, events, grocery shopping and more. Make a list for the store and you will not have to go back for items you may have forgotten. Also having a list keeps you on track and will prevent you from impulse buys. You will be in and out of the store quicker than ever!
7. Use Amazon Subscribe and Save for items you use most. We have toilet paper, peanut butter, tissue, diapers, coffee and other staples delivered to our house through Amazon. You can sign up to have the items delivered as often as you like + you get an addition 10-15% off when you subscribe. Free shipping too! No more running out to the store, it comes to you!
8. Ordering out? Call ahead of time! Make sure you call your order in ahead of time, that way you are in and out. HUGE time saver.
9. Learn to delegate, let some things go. If you are like me, than you know how hard it can be to let the kids do stuff when you want it done a particular way. But let it go. Let them do it their way, they are learning from it, the can take pride in their work, this is so important. Let them take on more tasks. Give yourself a break and have more time for other things.
10. Of course it has to do with Starbucks, you all know how addicted I am to Starbucks. I needed a Starbucks time saver considering how much time I spend there, hee hee.
DID you know that now you can pay with your smartphone at the register. I saw a lady do it last week and it was cool, she scanned it herself and it only took like 3 seconds!
So there you have it! Head out and save yourself some time and money and sanity. :O)
“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Starbucks blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (make sure you link to http://starbucksmobile.socialmoms.com/about)